Welcome to the first Akili Trust e-newsletter to keep you in touch with developments and events.
Its been a really successful year for the Akili Trust and we though you might like to know some of the good things that have happened.
The three trustees who visited were delighted to see how well the libraries are being used and how much progress has been made. We found real enthusiasm for books and reading amongst the school students and the community and great support for our work. The new Headteacher at Dabaso, Esther Kutto, is proving to be a strong advocate and is spending time in the libraries reading with the children. The libraries are also being used for revision and private study in the evenings now that there is electricity.
If you want to see more photos from this trip please look on the website or click here.
We have started a new book collection appeal so that we can send another shipment of books. Please see the appeal on the website for the kinds of books we are collecting. We are also buying more books in Kenya to support the Kenyan national curriculum.
The library staff are working well together and have monthly staff meetings for joint planning and problem solving. There is a librarian and library assistant in each library.
The Makuti Shelters
These palm leaf structures provide shady reading spaces outside the libraries and increase the available reading spaces. At Kakuyuni they proved to be very popular with the community and are a focal point for school students, particularly as a place to read the newspapers.
Following the success at Kakuyuni, we have built three shelters outside the library at Dabaso and will be planting a living fence when the weather is appropriate. Our next project at Dabaso is to construct a large makuti in partnership with the school. This will create a space big enough for whole groups to use. The children will each bring a piece of makuti (palm leaf) and Akili Trust will fund the building. Approximately £500 will be needed for this work.
Mjumbe and Horace, our computer trainers, have started work
There are now 5 working computers in each library, which we will network and link with a printer within each library. Our two computer trainers are in post – funded for 6 months with a grant from the Leggatt Trust – and are running courses for teachers, librarians, school students and the community following a programme that they have devised. We are looking for an additional £1000 to extend this programme for a further 6 months.
Our first bursary students have just completed their final school exams and are eagerly awaiting their results in February. We have had very good feedback about their performance from the schools and are delighted that they are such positive role models for the community.
In January 2011 we will have our full complement of 16 students. Secondary education take up is still very low – 45% in one of our schools and 20% in the other, with the education of girls a major concern. We are keen to explore ways of funding further bursaries. The students play an active role in the libraries, particularly supporting other students during their holidays.
Three music evenings this year raised over £7000 as well as being extremely enjoyable. We are delighted that Thomas Gould is planning a return concert at Lauderdale House for us on the 3rd March 2011.
We thank you all for your support and hope this newsletter gives you some idea of the ways in which your donations are being used.
What you can do to support our work
For further information about our work or if you want to get involved, make a donation, buy some of our postcards designed by children in Kenya or support one of our projects, then please visit the website www.akilitrust.org or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew, Anne, Laura, Lucy, Pam, Ruth – the UK Akili team